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Arts & Culture

McNay Art Museum Reveals Its New Director

The McNay Art Museum revealed its new director today. Rich Aste comes here most recently from New York City, but has lived all over.

"My family is Peruvian and Bolivian. I was born in Lima in 1970. We were only there a year, and then we immigrated to Miami. So I claim Miami as my home town."

His most recent work was at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which constructed a rigorous gauntlet for curators to run before creating an exhibition.

"We always ask who is it for? Is it relevant? Is there a contemporary resonance? Even if it was a historic show, how is it relevant today? And is this the right moment to show this exhibition? Will it change someone's life? So I learned a lot of moral leadership when I was in Brooklyn," Aste says.

In Brooklyn, Aste was a curator of arts of the Americas and of Europe. Previously he curated exhibits on European art while working in Puerto Rico.  

"And one of the reasons I was drawn to San Antonio so many years later is that it was as diverse--as incredibly diverse--as Miami.  Our goal in museums today is to build our communities up. To make them feel empowered. Allow them to think big. Dream. And to leave feeling energized to feel their own passions," Aste says.

His goals at the McNay are, of course, to invite more people in. But he has larger objectives in sight, too. He wants to leverage the McNay's influence by partnering with other local players.    

"Particularly the cultural leaders, the cultural institutions. Partnering with the San Antonio Museum of Art, with the Southwest School of Art, with the Witte Museum. ArtPace is a marvel. It's a cultural treasure."

He starts in the middle of September, and is in town now to find a place to live.

Find more on the McNay Museum of Art here